So many books and so little time….I can’t remember when I didn’t love books. Not only the words housed between the covers of books, but also the heft, color, and fragrance of them. When I was a child my favorite book was “Lorna Doone,” which my grandfather brought with him from Ireland. Every detail of Lorna and John’s trysts in the English Doone Valley was as real to me as my family’s Sunday dinner.
I didn’t read much in college, except an occasional textbook. I remember attending a moratorium to end the war in Vietnam, a sit-in at the student union, and a candlelight vigil held the night of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was killed. Other than that, my interests were prurient and shamelessly self-indulgent. My greatest struggles were opening beer cans without a can opener (in the years before pop-tops) and living in a house with 16 girls and only one phone. Life was good.
As a young mother I read voraciously, but primarily in the bodice-ripper historical romance sex-on-the-plains style of Rosemary Rogers and others like her. The men were lusty, the women were busty, and their personal hygiene was questionable. When one book faded into another, I looked around for something more challenging.
At one time I belonged to three book clubs. They’d send me six free books and I’d only have to buy one more book in the next six months. What a deal! I read “Goodbye, Columbus” by Philip Roth and thought my head would explode. Then, “The Fear of Flying,” by Erica Jong, which everyone knows is about airplanes…
My introduction to actual literature was mesmerizing and the more I read, the more I learned about writing. Then I read every book on Oprah’s list.
Is it possible to run out of things to write about? No, there will always be a writer with another great idea. As a reader, I’m thankful for all the writers out there and I look forward to their next contribution. Never underestimate the power of words to make an impact on book lovers like me.
When not being pithy and irreverent, the Oldest Living Middle-Aged Writer (aka Pat Childers) is a student of classic literature, contemporary writers and writing in general.